Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Campbell Brown Fails To Understand How The Teacher Discipline Process Works And That's A Shame!

Failed journalist and pseudo-reform advocate, Campbell Brown can't seem to understand that when teachers are accused of misconduct that they have "due process rights".  These "due process rights" include a 3020-a hearing in front of a State Arbitrator that is approved by both the DOE  and UFT.  That's right!  The DOE must approve the Arbitrator before that Arbitrator is allowed to hear cases against New York City teachers, something Ms. Brown fails to mention.  Every year Arbitrators must be approved by both the DOE and UFT and if one or the other is unhappy with the Arbitrator's decisions, their annual contract is not renewed.

Had Campbell Brown did some simple investigations of the 95 teachers she said should have been fired, she would have found that many of the best and most experienced Arbitrators, after carefully, weighing the evidence, or lack thereof, found that these teachers were not guilty of what the DOE charged them with.  In fact, many of these Arbitrators are still hearing teacher misconduct cases as the DOE has renewed their contracts year after year.

What do Arbitrators look for in the 3020-a hearings?  Here is a list I wrote previously.

  • Did the DOE meet the "just cause" standards?
  • Were the witnesses credible?
  • Did the evidence correlate with the charges?
  • Did the defendant appear credible?
  • Did the defendant show remorse and sorrow about the action?
  • Were there extenuating circumstances?
  • What was the defendant's disciplinary and educational record prior to the charges?
  • Did the DOE meet the "preponderance of evidence" standard?
  • What was the quality of legal representation (both sides)?

The  bottom line is that the arbitrators want to see "relevant preponderance of evidence" before they
will uphold the DOE charges of misconduct and that is a much lower standard than the "reasonable doubt" used in the courts.  Therefore, for arbitrators, it's about real evidence and supportable hearsay for them to find in favor of the DOE charges.  However, in many cases the DOE investigator's job is not to find evidence to support teacher misconduct but simply provide the rumors, unsupported hearsay, and gossip to substantiate the allegations that result in the DOE charges.  Maybe if the DOE investigative process would be fair and unbiased, the 95 school employees would never have been charged in the first place since the DOE did not have the evidence or supported hearsay to make their case.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. Maybe the media should question Campbell Brown when she makes her inaccurate statements.

Anonymous said...

Again maybe Campbell brown needs to realize she is a huge failure and she needs to shut up